Filmed by Ford Fischer
Story and Photos by Alejandro Alvarez
Days after Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian protesters rallying on Gaza’s border, Washington activists decried American support for Israel outside the White House.
In their most recent action opposing Israel’s treatment of Palestine, women’s anti-war group CODEPINK led about two dozen people near the White House’s north fence chanting “free Palestine” and “border walls have got to go.” One protester likened the latest deadly incident in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to an ongoing apartheid.
According to Palestinian health officials, eighteen people are dead and hundreds injured after Israeli soldiers used live rounds on protesters rallying near the border on Land Day, an annual event commemorating a popular strike in response to Israel’s seizure of land in 1976.
The Israeli government justified its use of force as a countermeasure against rioters and “invaders,” though activists pointed out a disproportionate amount of damage dealt to the Palestinian side. The United States, for its part, blocked a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an independent probe into Israel’s actions. The State Department has also been criticized for its response.
“Israel and a majority of the media framed the massacre as two-sided, a consequence of clashes and the fault of Hamas,” read a statement released to the press by CODEPINK, which noted that none of the protesters appeared to be armed. “Some of the those killed were shot in the back as they tried to run away.”
Video originally broadcast by Palestinian media appears to show protesters being shot in the back while fleeing the area. Other footage shows Israeli-controlled drones dropping canisters of tear gas on protesters, one of the first documented uses of the new technology. Both these factors have galvanized pro-Palestine groups into action across the world, with solidarity rallies in Tel Aviv, Ireland, and San Francisco.